Thursday, December 18, 2008

An idea fed and watered

Occasionally a humble seed germinates. And you don't even know it till after the event.

Many moons ago, I purchased a pair of hiking / outdoor joggers from my fave house of [cool yet strangely daggy] Melburnian fashion, Rivers.

I love Rivers - did I mention they're a favourite of mine?

Anyway, I bought the joggers. Loved them. Roamed all over the countryside in them. (They're still going strong after five years.)

There was a weak point in the design, however. Water passes very easily through suede leather.

My love for this clothing chain (which has provided short-sleeved button-up semi-casual shirts to almost every thirty-something man in Australia) led me to think and to act - both extremely rare courses for me to pursue, I know.

I was visiting a Rivers store in Bowral one day about four years ago, and began discussing my joggers with the staff, saying how comfortable they were, and how they could be improved. They assured me that Rivers HQ was interested in my feedback.

They gave me a sheet of paper and asked me to diagramme out my proposal for the improved shoe, and to make some notes on it. This I promptly did. They then it was faxed off to Victorian HQ. End of story.

Until about three weeks ago. I was cruising around Rivers in Launceston (those of you who shop at Rivers will understand this phenomenon of turning every holiday into an excuse to cover off as many Rivers stores as you can), and noticed the shoes you see in the photo above.

I almost did a double-take: these were my shoes. This was my design - the significant improvements I'd suggested had been incorporated into a new, revamped model.

It was really cool to see one of my ideas actually birthed into something tangible by someone else. The seed had germinated without my knowing, and was already a tree by the time I found out. Simultaneously weird and cool.

Now if they would only offer me a free pair ...

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